Frequently asked questions for new spa and pool owners. What chemicals are needed, how to balance water, how to test pH levels, and more tips for water care.
Proper water chemistry is imperative for a fun and safe experience. Experts recommend testing your pool water at least twice per week. Of course, this number can vary depending on usage, heat, and time of the year but a good benchmark is at least twice per week. If you are a newer pool owner, we’d recommend testing a little more often until you become more familiar with your pool. Every pool is different due to water volume, depth, the amount of sun it gets, etc so testing more often allows you to have a much better understanding of your pool’s water chemistry and it’s needs.
To prevent the growth of algae pool owners should routinely complete the following steps. Maintain a sanitizer residual of 1-3ppm, do an initial and weekly application of a preventative algicide such as Algae Complete, shock routinely, make sure there is adequate circulation and filtration and finally brush the pool surfaces.
Cloudy pool water is not only uninviting but it’s also a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. The primary reason pools get cloudy is water chemistry. Incorrect chlorine levels, pH levels, high calcium or metal content can all lead to your pool becoming cloudy. It’s important to act immediately by testing your water and properly balancing your pool water. Dirty filters or faulty equipment can also be a source of cloudy water so be sure to clean your filters properly when needed and check your pool equipment to ensure all is working properly. Finally, low circulation periods can be a symptom. Increase the amount of water that passes through your filter by increasing your pool’s circulation intervals.
Foaming can be caused by several things such as using foaming vs. non-foaming algicides, laundry detergent residuals entering the pool from swimwear and other ways such as body wash, makeup, and shampoo residuals. To eliminate foaming in your pool, apply an anti-foam; additionally, adding a product like Pool Juice 911 can help to remove some of the contaminates that may be causing the foam. To prevent foaming in your pool, utilize a non-foaming algicide such as Algae Complete or Banish, shock, or oxidize your pool routinely and add Pool Juice Phosphate Remover weekly to your routine maintenance which will help reduce contaminates and improve overall water clarity.
A greasy layer on the walls of your pool’s waterline is evidence that there is a build-up of organic waste in the water. A lot of the time it can be derived from organic contaminants such as oils and lotions that enter the water via swimmers. Scale conditions would be due to hard water problems and would require your water to be tested and properly balanced. To remove the waterline build-up, add a product such as Pool Juice 911 which will quickly remove contaminants such as lotion, oils, and grease. Adding a scale inhibitor will also remove the scale from your pool’s surfaces. Follow these steps up by brushing your pool surfaces among the waterlines.
Unproperly balanced water, specifically pH, can cause eye and skin irritation for pool users. Additionally, a buildup of contaminants in pool water can also cause chloramines. Chloramines is an irritant, causing redness and puffiness around the eyes and can also cause dry and itchy skin. It is commonly derived from a byproduct of swimmers as ammonia enters the pool water (sweat, urine, hairspray, colognes, etc) then bonds to the chlorine, forming chloramine. To remove chloramine from your pool you’ll need to use burnout to oxidize these contaminants. Additionally, properly balancing your pool, cleaning your pool’s filters, and shocking your pool weekly will help destroy these contaminants.
It’s a good habit to rinse your hot tub filters at least twice a month. More frequent bathers may want to rinse weekly. Doing so ensures you’re removing the contaminants and debris that your filter is capturing. Additionally, utilizing a filter cleaner can not only prolong your filter’s life and allow it to work more effectively but it can remove those unseen elements such as body oils, grim and scale that are sometime hard to remove from a hose alone.
It’s recommended that you keep pH increaser, pH decreaser, sanitizer (chlorine or bromine), 5-way test strips and hot tub shock on hand always. The major elements you need to test for in your hot tub are pH, free chlorine or total bromine (depending on if you’re utilizing a chlorine or bromine sanitizer), total alkalinity and total hardness. Most standard hot tub test strips can test for all 5 of these. Frequent water testing will allow you to understand if you’ll need additional chemicals like total alkalinity increaser or calcium increaser to combat out of ideal ranges for calcium and alkalinity. Additional chemicals like filter cleaner, anti-foam and water clarifier can help enrich your hot tub experience but aren’t necessary.
Yes! Portable hot tubs are meant to be used all year long including during the winter months. However, in colder climates it may be wise to perform your drain and refill before the freezing temperatures arrive. This will prevent you from having to battle the cold temps and potential freeze hazards that may arise when draining your tub.
Hot tub prices can vary widely depending on size and manufacturer. For a quality 7 x 7 hot tub consumers can expect around $6,000 - $12,000+. There are other factors consumers should consider when purchasing a hot tub such as quality of manufacturer, length of warranty, who will service the warranty, will the unit be delivered & set-up and what accessories will the price include. We highly recommend working with a local reputable dealer when purchasing a hot tub. Most dealers will service the hot tubs warranty which can make this part of hot tub ownership simple and painless. When purchasing from a non-reputable dealer or even purchasing online you can be stuck footing the costly repair bills that could have been otherwise repaired for free from a local dealer.
Most hot tubs run on either 110v or 220v power. 110v hot tubs or “plug-n-play” hot tubs can be plugged into a standard outlet since they draw < 15 amps. 220v hot tubs will need additional electrical requirements since they use more power to run. Typically, these are your larger multi pump hot tubs. These hot tubs require 50-60 amp breakers and will need to be installed by a licensed electrician. Typical 220v service requires electrical to be ran from the main panel to a separate disconnect which houses the hot tubs required breakers. From there a whip is installed that goes directly from the disconnect and hard wired into your hot tub. To understand your hot tubs electrical requirements, consult your local hot tub dealer or check your hot tub owner’s manual.
Keeping your water sparkling clean is the key to a great hot tub experience. The easiest way to safeguard this is by testing your hot tub water frequently and balancing accordingly, ensuring your tub has adequate circulation and cleaning your filters regularly. Following these steps and being proactive versus reactive in maintaining your hot tub will ensure you always have clean and clear water.
Draining and refilling your hot tub water is the easiest way to get a fresh start. As a guidepost you should drain and refill your hot tub with freshwater whenever you’re struggling to clear up water quality issues. Although some professionals may recommend draining your hot tub water every 4-6 months there really isn’t an exact interval when you should be performing this task. Every hot tub is different based on usage, filtration, circulation, size, and sanitizer being used. Some hot tub owners who are more proactive about water testing and balancing may get a year or more out of their water. Others who are perhaps testing and balancing less frequently and are constantly battling improper water chemistry levels may need to drain and refill more often.
104 degrees Fahrenheit is the standard maximum temperature for portable hot tubs in the United States. The Consumer Products Safety Commission or CPSC released advisory #79-071 in 1979 which warned of the dangers of having a heat stroke in waters at or above 106° Fahrenheit. Since then, maximum temperature regulations for portable hot tubs have been capped at 104 degrees Fahrenheit.